It was heartbreak for University of Bath, as they fell to a 37-27 defeat against Hartpury College in the semi-final of the BUCS Super League in Gloucestershire on Wednesday evening, in a tense, hard-fought encounter.
Hartpury took the lead within the first 15 minutes, Angus Southon crashed over from close range following some superb phase play. Chamberlain added the extras to give the hosts a seven-point lead. [7-0]
Hartpury were then rewarded after a lengthy spell of pressure as they were awarded a penalty in front of the sticks, the Hartpury fly-half extended his sides lead to 10 points. [10-0]
University of Bath responded immediately with a penalty of their own, Bath Rugby’s Will Partington was on hand, slotting the penalty to reduce the deficit to seven. [10-3]
Hartpury then went over for their second of the evening, Ervin Muric regathered the ball spectacularly off the back of his own chip and chase. Chamberlain again, adding the extras. [17-3]
On the stroke of half-time, the Blue and Gold were given a shot at goal as the home side were penalised for not rolling away, Partington made no mistake at the tee. [17-6]
Half-time – Hartpury College 17-6 University of Bath
Bath put the hosts under some pressure early into the second half, controlling much of the possession. Lock Angus Hinton dived over to score Bath’s first of the evening off the back of some dominant carries. Partington converted to take his side within four. [17-13].
Hartpury regained a comfortable lead minutes later, Muric making a sniping run through the Bath defence before cleverly offloading to Venner who darted under the sticks to create a simple conversion for Chamberlain. [24-13]
The lead was extended moments later, Muric turned from provider into scorer and crossed over for a try of his own, the conversion was successful as the game began to slip away from the Blue and Gold. [31-13]
A brilliant line from replacement and Bath Rugby player Miles Reid gave his side hope as he darted over to score. Partington quickly slotted the conversion to make the score 31-20. [31-20]
Hartpury extended their sides lead by three with another penalty, however Bath managed to gain some real momentum. After two yellow cards were shown to Hartpury, Hooker James Hadfield powered his way over of the back of a rolling maul, Partington added the extras with just over 10 minutes to play. [34-27]
Hartpury’s defence remained strong in the latter stages as University of Bath went on the hunt for the crucial try, a late penalty secured the result for the hosts. They will not travel to Twickenham to face Leeds Beckett in the BUCS Super Rugby final. [37-27]
Full-time – Hartpury College 37-27 University of Bath
Academy Manager Andy Rock said, "The University partnership has developed significantly over the last two seasons, and this year has seen huge improvements across the whole breadth of the programme. It really has been outstanding to see this partnership develop and to see the number of players who have progressed within the BUCS Super Rugby Competition.